Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quotation of the Year: 2010 Edition

On Watching the Detectives, an investigator recounted a case in which two siblings were feuding over their recently deceased mother's estate. When the sister was found murdered, suspicion focused on her brother. The detectives had some difficulty finding him, but when they finally picked him up and settled him in the interrogation room, he told them:

"Just give me a large diet soda, 
and I'll tell you what you want to know."

That would be me, if I were ever arrested that is!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Town

Last week, George and I watched The Town which I wanted to like more than I did. I found the plot predictable and the characters underdeveloped. The bank robbers are very bad men, though Doug, played by Ben Affleck, has a good heart. James (Jeremy Renner) is a wild card, and things go awry when he breaks the unwritten rules of the bank robbing gang's code by violently beating a bank employee and then kidnapping the bank's manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall). F.B.I. Agent Frawley has had enough of the flawless robberies perpetrated by the born-to-crime thieves (a la Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive). Meanwhile, Doug gets close to Claire to ensure she doesn't have information to provide to the F.B.I. Once he sees her allegiance is to Charlestown rather than the law, he falls in love with her and decides to get out. Despite their criminal genius, the gang fails to realize the threat is not the loyal Claire by the addict and woman scorned, Krista (Blake Lively).

The movie was well-acted and the chase scenes, especially, were fun to watch, but the movie presents a difficult to solve dilemma: how to satisfyingly resolve a plot driven by anti-heroes. It doesn't take too long to figure out that James' recklessness will lead to his death either by cop or by his own hand, but I wasn't sure what would happen to Doug. Would he sacrifice himself, but earn the love of Claire (cf. The Crying Game)? Would he escape (cf. The Shawshank Redemption)? Or would he go down fighting?

Bag Monster Blog: After Christmas Recycling Tips

Bag Monster Blog: After Christmas Recycling Tips: "We hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday! As we gaze out at the chaos that used to be our living room, the question comes to mind that e..."

Monday, December 27, 2010


b2p pen

When Mark Buckley visited school to give a very interesting presentation, in passing I mentioned to two of his Staples colleagues that my Diet Coke addiction had negative environmental implications. They responded that the B2P pen helped ease the effects of all those discarded bottles. Each pen includes 89% recycled PET (about the equivalent of two bottles).  Mr. Buckley kindly let me take his sample pen, pictured above.

Manufactured by the Pilot Corporation, the retractable (and cute) pen does have very nice, smooth writing. It does have a different feel to it in my hand, but that may be due to the less contoured shape of the instrument as much as the material. The one I have is medium (.7) in blue. It's also available in red, green, and black, as well as in fine (.5). They need to add purple ink to the line!

The Pilot Corporation is on PETA's list of companies that do not test on animals, so it's animal-friendly as well as eco-friendly.

Pilot's B2P site

Half Way out of the Dark

"In nine hundred years of time and space I've never met anybody who wasn't important."

~The Doctor

I wish the Doctor would visit me on Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

beer & cookies

beer & cookies

I wanted sweets - in particular sugar cookie dough - so I made a batch from a "Simple Vegan Sugar Cookie" recipe I found online. George ate almost the entire batch on Christmas! He said they paired very well with this Harpoon beer.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

~ Merry Christmas ~

Santa Slippers

Here are the women in my family ten years ago! (My mother is behind the camera.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Mother!

Mother's Birthday

"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, 
and lie about your age."

~Lucille Ball

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bah, humbug!

really? square

Walter won this handsome Santa Claus hat from Nip and Bones, a very cute store for dogs and cats. He was more content wearing the had when he still was eating his sweet potato treat (photo here)!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative PunctuationMy aunt got me The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation. It has kept me laughing all night! If you are a grammar fanatic, you will love this book.

It includes photos of "signs" with unnecessary "quotation marks" along with humorous comments. I believe the book is an offshoot of the blog of "unnecessary" quotation marks. If you like this humor, you'll also enjoy the Red Pen blog!

"unnecessary" quotes

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Tivoli

TivoliThe Tivoli was the first movie theater I ever went to. I have vague recollections of Star Wars, but certainly remember my mother taking me and Johnna Cook to The Empire Strikes Back. Unfortunately, the movie was interrupted by frequent trips to the bathroom because I lost a baby tooth during the showing. When The Fox and the Hound was released, Ryan, Jeffrey, and I were taken to the Tivoli to see it; I spent the entire movie sobbing, leading to my renunciation of movies with animal characters.

Once the big Carmike Five by the interstate opened in the early 1980s, the Tivoli struggled to find its place. Discount movies played there for a time, then it was unused for many years. In the early 2000s, the last time I was in the building, Laura and I went there for a Jack Ingram concert.

The Ardmore Main Street authority owns the building, and a 2009 article in the local paper reported that it's renovating the building.

Ardmoreite article

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finals: Day Four

Colds, distress, fatigue, and frayed nerves replaced the lighthearted joviality that Monday's students exhibited.

One of my students came prepared for any eventuality.

Tests for me to grade!

Room 204
Goodbye, Room 204! See you next semester.

Quotation of the Day

"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt back your head and laugh at the sky." 

~Buddha   .

One of the best compliments I ever received was when Dr. Tsui thought I was Buddhist. I do love Buddhism, though.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vegan Pizza Night

vegan pizza

Faux pepperoni, Daiya mozzarella-style cheese, basic tomato sauce, and store-bought crust

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Day of Finals

We have finals this week. In one of my classes, the students are giving presentations, but in my two sections of OB, we are having a traditional final. One section took their final Monday, the other is scheduled for Thursday. This has created a scheduling nightmare since students don't understand why they can't easily take the exam with the other section. (The primary reasons are fairness and fire codes.)

Now that I am done with my own schooling, I rarely have those anxiety dreams where I find out that I have to take a final exam for a class I've forgotten to attend all semester, but I do have different school related anxiety dreams. The night before last, I dreamed I didn't have enough copies of the exam for the students.

The final yesterday was late in the day --4:30-7:00--and the students were very funny before the exam began, as you can see in the pictures. Shouldn't they be fretful and sad right before a final? ; ) We all had an awkward moment when a bewildered and rather panicked young woman came into the classroom. Her class usually meets in at room at 5:25, but everything is moved in time and space during finals. At first, I thought she was confused about the schedule. "You know, it's finals week, right?" It was clear she wasn't going to leave until I helped her, but I had very little information to go on. I tried to encourage her to find a computer; instead, she decided to share with me the saga of the scheduling snafus related to her class's final. Luckily, some students in the atrium were able to assist. Meanwhile, the fun and games from my students devolved into scowls and boos.

The end of the semester always comes with mixed feelings. Like the students, I feel relief that we've completed the term and are heading into a break, but I am often sad to say goodbye to my students, and it's particularly true with this group.

finals day
a "lucky exam" shirt
finals day
having too much fun!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Julie and Katie

Yesterday, we went to Eileen's for a holiday party. Her girls, Julie and Katie (Welsh Springer Spaniels) are adorable! They are the only attendees who would allow me to photograph them! ; )

Julie and Katie

Julie and Katie Plus Linda's legs


Quiz: What Kind of Liberal Are You?

My Liberal Identity

You are an Eco-Avenger, also known as an environmentalist or tree hugger. You believe in saving the planet from the clutches of air-fouling, oil-drilling, earth-raping conservative fossil fools.

Take the quiz at Political Humor

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter/Holiday Pug Swap

Look at all these wonderful goodies I received from Kathy and her two pugs, Biscuit and Furrzy! The pug group on Ravelry swaps a few times a year, and it's always so much fun. I give kudos to my swappers because they are usually not vegan, but always do such a wonderful job finding vegan treats and yarn to include in my packages. Of course, Walter got some fun stuff too - a toy and treats that he's been enjoying quite a bit today!

Ravelry Pug Holiday Swap

Thursday, December 9, 2010


NYC Fireworks

It's the last day of class (for me) for the semester! (I'm not done, though - there are still finals to give and homeworks to grade!)

It's also our two month anniversary!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Quotation of the Day

"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something."

~Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quotation of the Day

‎"Feeling that morality has nothing to do with the way you use the resources of this world is an idea that can't persist any longer. If it does, then we won't."

~Barbara Kingsolver

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fair Trade, Vegan Chocolate

fair trade chocolate

I won a chocolate giveaway! I barely was able to photograph the bars before George tore into them. They are yummy, and great alternatives to traditional chocolate bars. (See The Dark Side of Chocolate to learn more about the forced child labor that enables big chocolatiers to succeed.)

The giveaway was hosted by Tamara McFarland, author of A Gentler World Begins with You, a fair trade blog. Coincidentally, Tamara is also the jewelry artist who crafted my gorgeous wedding ring set.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mythos Sweater

mythos sweater

I am taking a class for the Mythos sweater with Laura Nelkin (the designer) at Knitting Etc. -- it's my first sweater! (I usually prefer more instant gratification projects.) The yarn is Panda Cotton (a cotton, bamboo, nylon blend) from Crystal Palace Yarns. Some knitters criticize this yarn as being splitty, but I haven't found it horribly so. When it knits up, it is a dream, it's so soft! I'd like to make a pillow case and blanket out of it.

Mythos appeared in Knitty and was written to be knitted flat, but we knit the arms in the round and used Judy's magic cast on for the body. Besides a small gap in the armpit, the process was very painless (especially since Laura did all the hard thinking work and started the magic cast on for me).

It's always fun to have classes with Laura, but I've got to get knitting so hopefully she can help me with the grafting during this coming week's class!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nightmare, Literally

Last night, I experienced a traumatic dream. For some reason, in the dream, I ate chicken tenders. Today, I feel like I should vomit to purge even the idea of meat out of my stomach.

When I think of chicken tenders, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the PETA t-shirt with a cute chick captioned, "I am Not a Nugget."

So...I blame George and the fact he made us watch "Bowling for Columbine" Saturday night. The movie reports that an eight-year-old boy pointed a chicken tender at a teacher in the school cafeteria during lunch and said, "Pow, pow, pow." As a result, he was suspended for three days.

In my dream, why was this violent image turned against me, by my own hands no less? That's not a subject for a public forum!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quotation of the Day

"Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."

~Soren Kierkegaard     .
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